Why Should I Clean My Gutters?

Cleaning your gutters is a quick but important job. Unfortunately, many people ignore them until there is a legitimate problem, or they see large sprouts growing out of said gutters!  It’s not something that needs to be done daily, weekly or even monthly. At least once per year will do, typically twice a year is best to be sure that they are free and clear of debris. If they’re not cleaned at all/not cleaned properly it could end up costing you thousands of dollars!

Flooded/Damp Basements:

Gutters carry rainwater from your roof down the side of your home and away from the foundation. This reduces the chances of wet basements, mold/mildew, and even flooding. It can also cause problems with the foundation if left untreated.

Interior Water Damage:

When gutters become filled, and water cannot transfer from the roof away from the house it will back up and can often come back into inside your home. This can create mold, water stains, etc.

Winter Ice Dams:

With our harsh and often freezing New England climate, it’s even more important your gutters are cleaned biannually! Coming into the winter, if your gutters do not allow the water to flow away from the house, it can create an ice damn. This is when freezing water goes back up and under the roof shingles, coming inside the house and thawing out inside the soffits. In no time at all you will have heavy water damage. In really bad storms the water can actually run like a river right through the attic into the house. It can damage not only your ceilings and walls, but it can also damage contents such as cabinetry. Anything susceptible to water damage is at risk, and it’s at risk because the gutters were not cleaned at all/not cleaned properly.

Fun Fact: Icicles may be fun to look at, but they can cost you a lot of money if they are on your home. Gutters are here to prevent icicles from forming on the edge of your roofline. Not only can it damage your roof shingles, it will make any entry area dangerous because of the falling ice, and as the ice melts it will freeze on your walkways or around entry doors making the areas slippery and easy to fall on.

How Often Do I Need to Clean My Gutters?

There are many variables, but rule of thumb in New England is twice a year. Many homeowners don’t even do it once a year! Your homes location will play a part, along with your landscape. Sometimes, houses that are higher up and on a hill with no trees don’t need to be cleaned all. Keep in mind wind will blow leaves around during heavy storms, so it doesn’t mean they never have to be cleaned, just far less frequently. If you have a handful of trees close to your home, you’re probably going to need your gutters cleaned AT LEAST once a year. Homes with tall trees growing right next to them could require gutter cleaning three, possibly four times a year. This is not the norm of course, but do keep in mind your landscape when determining how often you need your gutters cleaned. Many times we come to clean gutters and we have to remove plant growth. When you see plants growing from your gutter, it’s a very bad sign. Plants can greatly reduce the flow of water through your gutters, and they should be cleaned immediately.

Can I Clean My Own Gutters?

You can certainly clean your own gutters! All you need is a good, safe ladder, some rubber gloves, and a bucket to place the debris in (never throw the debris on the ground if it can be avoided, it will just create more work for you when you come off the ladder).  Work slowly and methodically, it’s not a race, the most important thing is to be safe!

Does ONE STOP PAINTING Clean Gutters?

Not only do we clean gutters, we can make repairs, we can replace damaged portions, or we can install a complete set of new gutters! If we identify any area of concern we will make the proper recommendations. Some areas carry larger amounts of water off the roof and would require a wider gutter and downspout. Another popular type of gutter is one with a cover/leaf guard system to reduce the need for cleaning, although the need to clean your gutters is still not completely eliminated. Usually we can remove the cover to access the gutter, but sometimes the gutter systems are one piece or permanently connected. In these instances our job becomes far more difficult, and we have to rely upon a power washer with a special attachment to reach inside, but we do indeed have this ability. When cleaning your gutters we also check for damaged/rotted wood that needs to be replaced, or peeling paint coatings that we can repair for you. If you live on the South Shore and you need you gutters cleaned let One Stop Painting and Renovating be your first choice!